QUITO – Ecuador’s second satellite, the Kryasor, was launched into space on Thursday, nearly six months after the South American country’s first satellite was lost, the Ecuadorian Civilian Space Agency, or EXA, said.
“Kryasor is in orbit. The mission is a success,” EXA said in a Twitter posting.
“Kryasor aboard the dnepr rs20b has lifted off into orbit and Ecuador returns to space!” EXA director Ronnie Nader said in a post on his own Twitter account.
The satellite was carried into space by a Russian-made Dnepr RS-20 rocket, which was launched from the Dombarovsky missile complex at the Yasni base.
The launch was monitored from mission control in Samborondon, a city near the southwestern Ecuadorian port of Guayaquil.
Kryasor (NEE-02) was built entirely in Ecuador and is the twin of Pegaso, EXA’s first nano-satellite, which was launched from China in April.
Pegaso collided with debris from an old Russian rocket a month into its mission and EXA declared the satellite lost in August.
Kryasor is projected to begin operating in 30 to 40 days, by which time it is expected that the U.S. Air Force Space Command, the agency that tracks objects in space and assigns final orbits, will have identified the satellite, EXA said.
The new nanosatellite has a better video camera than the one carried by Pegaso, which transmitted real-time images of the planet’s surface during its brief operating period, Nader said.
Kryasor’s transmission speed will be “a thousand times faster” than that of Pegaso, the EXA director said.